Adapting to the rise of Generation Z: Strategies for engaging the growing wave of consumers

Viber noa-bar-shay
Noa Bar Shay
Senior Director, Partnerships & Sales at Rakuten Viber
Adapting to the rise of Generation Z: Strategies for engaging the growing wave of consumers

Let’s take a look at Generation Z — a tech-savvy and socially aware group changing the consumer landscape. Making up 26% of the global population, these 2 billion people aged 10–25 will contribute to 48% of worldwide retail spending by 2030, making them an undeniable powerhouse. As digital natives, they are transforming shopping, brand loyalty, and customer engagement. 

This article explores the unique traits, preferences, and behaviors of Gen Z buyers and how Rakuten Viber can help engage this influential group.

Retail spending predictions for Gen Z consumers

Gen Z Power: Revamping Marketing & Engaging with Viber

Having grown up with technology at their fingertips, Gen Z consumers have distinctive expectations and habits when interacting with brands. 

Here is an overview of their preferences and purchasing habits in 2023. They:

  • Expect fast and seamless services
  • Are optimistic about spending
  • Prefer to shop directly from brands, valuing eco-friendliness and ethics
  • Prioritize personalization and online discovery, with 40% choosing to shop online
  • Consider social commerce essential, utilizing social media platforms and influencers
  • View in-store retail as necessary still, with 26% planning to shop in brick-and-mortar stores more often
  • Take into account reviews, incentives, and return policies, which influence their purchasing decisions and loyalty
  • Expect virtual shopping experiences and AI-powered services as they are eager to learn AI to expand their own work skill sets
Shopping habits of Generation Z

Communication with Zoomers poses challenges and opportunities for businesses, and it’s important to adapt marketing strategies for this audience. Companies should address their unique preferences to build strong relationships with them and boost their loyalty. Failure to adapt may result in a declining market share.

Rakuten Viber is an excellent platform for engaging these clients, thanks to its ever-evolving user-friendly features and focus on privacy. Its superapp capabilities cater to the tech-savvy generation as Rakuten Viber provides targeted messages, smooth customer interactions, and personalized experiences.

Gen Z's Social Pulse: Exploring Media Habits, Shopping Preferences, and Top Platforms

Gen Zers’ social media usage and preferences play a significant role in shaping their consumer behavior. 35% of them spend over two hours daily on social media, compared to 24% of millennials and 14% of baby boomers. They prefer researching and purchasing there, so companies need to tap into this trend.

Digital natives heavily rely on social networks for finding, assessing, and interacting with products and brands. About 85% of them use social media to learn about products, showing that businesses targeting them need a strong online presence. Research shows that 69% visit stores based on social media posts, and 83% trust customer reviews on social media more than traditional advertising platforms. It’s also something that will likely remain a trend in the coming years, as generation Alpha, who is starting to enter the ranks of financially active consumers, also trusts influencers and peer suggestions on social media. 

Social media usage by Gen Z customers

To effectively communicate with this generation, marketers have to understand how they use online platforms. 

Inside Gen Z's Wallet: Thoughtful Purchases, Social Responsibility, and Reliable Earnings

Gen Zers exhibit shopping habits that set them apart from previous generations. Over 70% of them have stable sources of income, making them financially responsible and careful when it comes to spending. They save much of their earnings by investing in digital currencies or putting money into retirement accounts. 

They are known for their non-impulsive buying behavior: around 50% shop online monthly but only make purchases when necessary, and 33% look for good deals and buy things during sales. This demographic also does extensive research online before buying something. Over half of the participants in a survey stated that they mainly depend on a brand's website for product or service information, nearly 40% use online reviews, and 29% prefer social media.

Post-millennials are cost-conscious, with 90% of them comparing prices before buying. They are discerning buyers who prioritize value, quality, and ethical practices when choosing where to spend their hard-earned money.

This generation cares a lot about social issues and wants to support companies that positively impact society. They focus on the environment, equality, and justice. Organizations must be genuine in their actions and socially responsible because Gen Z can easily spot fakeness, and most of them think brands should donate to charities and promote inclusivity. 

Rakuten Viber's Gen Z Formula: Targeted Messaging, Captivating Media, and Smooth Interactions

To reach this young group of consumers, enterprises can leverage Rakuten Viber for Business solutions such as Rakuten Viber Business Messages, Chatbots, Lenses and Stickers.

Rakuten Viber Business Messages

87% Gen Z want a personalized shopping experience. If your company uses a CDP, create and send tailored Rakuten Viber Business Messages based on interests and preferences to achieve higher conversions and sales. Visualize your content with features like call-to-action buttons, images, and emojis to personalize messages and make your brand stand out. 

Rakuten Viber Business Messages can satisfy Gen Z's need for extensive research before making a purchase. Promotional messages inform potential customers about the latest offers and special discounts, while conversational ones enable real-time interactions with customers through text, images, videos, and files. 

Transactional messages help keep Gen-Z’ers informed about their purchases, deliveries, appointments, and receive important information, such as booking confirmations and receipts, directly in chat with a brand. 

Instant support and information-sharing result in happier customers, a more seamless discovery, and greater shopping experience. 

Rich-media Rakuten Viber Business Messages for Gen Z

 Clear Boundaries with Rakuten Viber Business Inbox

Business messages go to Rakuten Viber Business Inbox, a dedicated space for brand-user communications. It makes managing and accessing messages from brand accounts easier for users as the folder is at the top of the chat list by default. The Inbox helps companies get more visibility among customers who would like to interact with them, leading to higher click-through rates. Rakuten Viber Business Inbox promotes user safety and trust by not allowing messages from private accounts who might impersonate the brands and is set to improve overall user experience.

24/7 Presence with Rakuten Viber Chatbots

Rakuten Viber Chatbots make it easy for brands to offer Zoomers efficient 24/7 service, let them shop and pay right within the app, and receive quick responses to queries – an experience that 82% of modern consumers expect. Advances in AI and machine learning technologies help create smarter chatbots that provide seamless and interactive services. The Gen Z audience will certainly appreciate effortless and intuitive interactions with brands that use AI chatbots. 

Building real conversations with Rakuten Viber Business Messages and AI-powered Chatbots

The Visual Power of Rakuten Viber Lenses and Stickers

To grab iGen attention in just eight seconds or less, brands  should no doubt use Rakuten Viber Lenses. This solution lets people add enjoyable AR visuals and effects to their photos and videos to express feelings or for beautification. Businesses can create unique branded Lenses for different consumer segments, especially Gen Z, which can help boost a brand engagement significantly. The lenses offer fun, interactive experiences, such as mini-games, quizzes, randomizers, and character interactions, which resonate well with this audience. 

Engaging branded Rakuten Viber Lenses 

Rakuten Viber Lenses are not just fun – the tool can help address Zoomers’ social concerns by raising awareness for different causes like environment, mental health, and education. By supporting important initiatives, the company’s branded Lenses can create a caring corporate image and put your organization on a map of conscious consumers.

Companies can also create custom stickers, incorporating their branding and messaging for a fun and engaging user experience. Getting Gen Z users to share branded Rakuten Viber Stickers allows сompanies to increase brand awareness and turn them into fans. 

Examples of branded Stickers: MoMo, Coca Cola, Raiffeisen Bank 

Trust in Rakuten Viber: Consistent Branding Meets Robust Protection

Zoomers tend to shop both in brick-and-mortar stores and various online shops. Omnichannel shopping is crucial for connecting with Gen Z's buying habits. Rakuten Viber Business Account helps brands align how they’re presented on the app with how they look in other media. This consistency leads to smooth shopping experiences. 

The Account helps people find and access all info and communication channels of a business on the app in one place, assisting them at different stages of their customer journey. 

In terms of security, Gen Z is at a higher risk of cyber threats as they rely heavily on technology. They are less prepared to identify email phishing attempts made through emails or fake websites. Additionally, this generation is more prone to delaying required IT updates and reusing passwords for personal and work-related accounts. 

Security is incorporated in Rakuten Viber’s DNA and in all the features it delivers to users. End-to-end encryption is used by default for user-to-user communications, such as private chats, group chats, and private calls. Rakuten Viber Business Messages are protected with encryption in transit, providing an exceptionally high level of security for brand-user communication.

Rakuten Viber protects client data and privacy – it doesn’t store user messages on it’s servers after delivery and uses secure HTTPS connections only. All of this is designed to provide safe interactions for both users and brands.

Rakuten Viber ranks as one of the safest messaging apps: Stiftung Warentest study

Gen Z & Rakuten Viber: A Winning Combination for Future-Proof Consumer Connections

To engage the Internet generation consumers effectively, businesses must understand and adapt to their unique preferences and habits. Rakuten Viber offers various tools to help companies do just that: Business Messages, Chatbots, branded Lenses, Stickers, and more. Companies that embrace the superapp capabilities are better positioned to build strong connections, establish trust, and secure the loyalty of Gen Z. 

So, without further ado, tap into what Rakuten Viber can do for your brand.